Keyword Basics

A Simple Guide to an Important Factor in SEO

Key words are one of the most important SEO factors to consider.

Google, the world’s most popular search engine: I know I use it and I bet you do too. Trying to understand key words boils right down to the search engine itself.

Think of the words you search for.

Whether you ask questions, want to find out information or where a place is, how you search and the words you use is crucial to the outcome.

If you are looking for a page all about different dog breeds so you know which will be the best pet for your family - you wouldn’t look up hairstyles for young girls.

If you were leaving home and you need to learn a few recipes or how to boil an egg - you don’t look up how to look after a chicken.

Key words should be specific and let the search engine know exactly what you are looking for.

And as a user, you would be pretty confused if google submitted results related to another topic all together!

Because of this, as an SEO, you must always rank for keywords relevant to your page.

Consider these factors:

  • Is the keyword relevant to your website and its content?
  • If someone searches for a keyword and lands on your site will they be happy?

If yes, great!

Your visitor is going to be pleased, they might link your site and visit your content often.

However, also consider this:

  • Is the word relevant to your business goals?
  • Does the traffic to that keyword present an opportunity?
  • What’s the competition like?

Think about it.

Go to google (or any search engine for that matter) and look up something, anything.

What words and phrases are at the top of the search results?

How many results show up?

Is the page inundated with ads?

These are all different factors that you should also consider - they offer hints and clues to the keywords and phrases that may turn out to be highly lucrative and conversion prone.

From this preliminary research, begin to create a list of keywords and phrases that are doing well, but first, here’s a couple of important notes to also think about:

Latent Semantic Indexing

Put simply, words or phrases that matrix, relate and interlink together. According to Wikipedia, “LSI will return results that are conceptually similar in meaning to the search criteria, even if the results don’t share a specific word”. Using LSI, you can create new keywords that have never been thought of previously and cover multiple words that have similar meanings, ultimately helping the user (of a search engine) find your relevant and interesting content.

The Long Tail

In terms of SEO, the long tail refers to keywords that are two or more words in length, offer low competition, low search volume, but a high searcher intent.

For Example: ‘Recipes’ Vs ‘How to make gluten free brownies’

In this example, the first keyword, ‘recipes’ suggests that the user is merely browsing for ideas, maybe lunch, dinner, breakfast – we’re not sure.

Take the second option. The user wants to make a dessert or snack. More specifically brownies. They need to be gluten free. The searcher will probably have some if not all the ingredients ready. Even if they are missing some items, it is certain that they will make gluten free brownies as soon as possible. It’s the equivalent of having your wallet out at the till in a shop and because of this Long Tail keywords are one of the most valuable words you will rank for.

Once you have a list together, you can use tools such as the Google Keyword Planner to conduct some further research and develop a comprehensive list of keywords to rank for.

If you would like to know how to use the Keyword Planner in a bit more detail, this blog has a really good step-by-step approach to getting the most out of it:

I have my keywords, now what?

From there, ensure you place these keywords into your content.

Titles, meta tags, alt tags, body, headings, sub headings, URLs… the list goes on.

After a few updates, content changes (and maybe some mistakes) you should hopefully begin ranking for specific key words and phrases.

Want to know more?